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Top Rated Attractions in Moscow

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The State Tretyakov Gallery

Pavel Tretiakov, the collector of some of the best work of contemporary artists in Moscow and St. Petersburg, founded this gallery in 1856. His brother Sergei collected French and Dutch masters, and in 1872 they combined their collections and opened this extremely popular museum named The State Tretyakov Gallery (Tret'iakovskaia Galereia). In 1892 it was donated to the city of Moscow and lives on with works by famous Russian painters such as Vasilii Perov, Ivan Kramskoi and Ilia Repin.

Sparrow Hills

Billed to be one of the highest points of the city, the soaring Sparrow Hills lies delicately nestled along the banks of the Moskva River. Towering 220 meters (720 feet) above river level, the hill proudly watches over the dynamic, ever-evolving landscape of Moscow, including many of its landmarks like the Luzhniki Stadium, Christ the Savior Cathedral, the gleaming domes of Novodevichy Convent and the imposing Seven Sisters. Having been a muse to many Russians poets and writers in the past, the hill is crowned by an observation tower which overlooks the beautiful bend of the river shrouded by swathes of dense green scenery. Strewn across the lofty scope of the hills are buildings which are some of the most magnificent of their kind in the city, including the awe-inspiring Moscow State University complex and the picturesque Trinity Church.

Alexander Gardens

The Alexander Gardens were developed between 1820 and 1823 and run along the west wall of the Kremlin. The gardens occupy an area of about 865 meters (2838 feet). In his attempt to make the gardens as distinctive as possible, Osip Bove combined an orderly plan with the free arrangement of trees plus elements of romantic-style gardens. The gardens are bordered by decorative iron railings. Locals and foreign tourists often come to the gardens to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Being a popular public spot, the garden is open throughout the year.

St. Basil's Cathedral

A mesmerizing collection of vivid hues and domes, St. Basil's Cathedral looms at the southern end of the Red Square, one of Russia's most widely-recognized architectural monuments. Originally built between 1555 and 1561 to commemorate the victory of Ivan IV in Kazan, the cathedral was a vision in white stone with gilded domes. The colors and patterns were not added until the 17th Century. Little is known about the architects of this majestic edifice and for a time legend had it that Ivan IV had the duo blinded to prevent them from replicating the design. Originally composed of nine chapels, a tenth was added a few years later where the tomb of Saint Basil lies. Although officially named the Cathedral of the Intercession, this historic jewel's more popular moniker derives from this. Today, St. Basil's Cathedral is a museum attracting droves of visitors each year, inspiring awe in all those who lay their eyes upon it.

Gorky Park

Gorky Park (referred to as Park Kul'tury i Otdykha or Park of Culture and Recreation) stretches along three kilometers of the Moskva River to the southwest of the city center. The park became known to the Western public thanks to a blockbuster movie based on Martin Cruz Smith's best-selling book, Gorky Park, and the Scorpions' famous song. Laid down in 1928, the original ornamental gardens are now accompanied by an entertainment zone, hosting everything from science lectures to rock concerts in its auditorium.

Hermitage Gardens

This garden lying near the north-west stretch of the Garden Ring was founded in 1892 on Karetny Ryad by the entrepreneur Yakov Schukin. The park opened in 1894 and was an immediate success with the public. Nowadays the grounds of the park accommodate three older theatres: New Opera, Sphere, and the Hermitage. A sprinkling of park furniture, flower-beds and decorative touches further enhance the park and by night it is all lit up by 19th century-style lanterns.

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